Bangkok Busline is a sub-company of Sombat Tour which in its turn, is one of the most popular transportation companies in Thailand. It started its business in 1942 as Tek Chiang and in 1978 changed it for Thep Sombat Co., Ltd. simply as Sombat Tour. During the decades the company grew and strove to develop its services and by now serves about 29 bus routes to the oddest corners all over the country.
Routes served by Bangkok Busline
Bangkok Busline (BB) has their headquarters in Bangkok and provides transportation services between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan and Suratthani with other minor destinations along the same routes. The company has a fleet of Express, VIP and VIP24 buses.
BB makes the top choice for both local and foreign passengers due to its high-class on-board service, great safety record and courtesy all for a budget-friendly price of THB550-850 depending on the type of the bus.
VIP24 are the most comfortable and expensive option with wider aisles, seats organised 3 per row and standard facilities and services including A/C, complementary bottled water and snacks, on-board rest room, neck rest and blankets and is highly recommended if you can invest some extra THB200 in your trip compared to an ordinary express ticket.
Most of departures heading from Bangkok to Chiang Mai namely four of five, are evening departures at 4pm, 6.50pm, 8pm and 8.35pm. All leave from the northern bus terminal in Bangkok, Morchit 2, and arrive to Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2 (Arcade). The morning bus departs at 6.00am.
There are four daily return trips at 10am, 6.35pm, 7.15pm and 8pm.
Night departures are always first to sell out as they help you save precious daytime of your travel. Unlike in some of the neighbouring countries like Cambodia or Myanmar, roads in Thailand are in a much better condition and night travel remains a popular way to reach outlying destinations. Bangkok Busline has a great safety record, so we do recommend to consider taking a night bus whether you are heading north to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Nan or south to Suratthani.
Bangkok-Chiang Rai and return trips schedule fewer departures, in fact only two of them in each direction. The 6.10pm (overnight VIP) and 8.30pm (Express) bus both from Bangkok to Chiang Rai drop off the passengers at Chiang Rai Bus Station 2 while the departure is from Morchit 2 as well. Return tickets can be booked for 6am and 6.30am buses. Average ticket price shall not exceed THB750.
Additionally to its main itineraries Bangkok Busline makes it to Surat Thani southern province. There’s only one evening departure to this direction at 8.00pm for an affordable price of THB600 for an 11-hour ride. In Bangkok, buses depart from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal aka Sai Tai Mai, and end up at Surat Thani Transport Station at Phun Phin. The return service is at 7.30pm, same locations.
Availability of online booking: it’s very convenient if you want to pick a seat and to avoid long discussions at the ticket counter at the station.
Accommodating staff welcomes passengers on board of the bus equipped with comfortable reclining seats with enough leg space, complete with neck-pillows, blankets, snacks and drinks offered.
A meal is normally included into your ticket price: you will be either served a boxed lunch or have time for lunch/dinner as the bus stops en route at a large gas station with convenience stores and a food court.
Toilets on board kept in good order.
There have been reports on late arrival times due to heavy traffic during holiday periods but it is common for all operators.
Freezing temperatures inside the bus (usual Asian-style air-conditioning, so probably extra layer of clothes is a good idea).
Lights and TV on till midnight or even after; lights switching on on every stop – if it is an issue, bring sleep eye mask.
Slow Wi-Fi if available at all.
No English-speaking staff/ announcements in English.
Those who have used Bangkok Busline more than once strongly recommend to use VIP buses with red-colour seats as these ones normally have having more inside space, better general condition and a cleaner toilet.
Do take your valuables with you at the bathroom stops. Not that there have been reports on thefts, but it is always a good idea to use common sense – just in case you happen to miss your bus!
Always check with the bus attendant if you are getting off the right stop as buses can stop at different locations close to your destination before getting to their terminus plus they do practise stops on requests (e.g. the bus passes along Don Mueang airport, which can be very convenient for connecting trips). To be able to get off at a ‘on request’ stop, tell your bus attendant where you are heading when boarding the bus. Note that if on a return trip to Bangkok, the bus calls to Viphavadee Rd. Bus Station (Soi Vibhavadi 130) as well. It is a little closer to the underground though.